Reading Roundup

Only the finest material makes it to thegoldenmule’s Reading Roundup series. This time, I even included a video for you folks that can’t read!


Predicting the Future, by Alan Kay

This is the one where Kay famously says, “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” And it’s brilliant. I wish I had read it ten years ago. He talks about the nature of idea and design and how it’s all rolled up into programming– just writing this short blurb is making me want to go back and read it again…

Everybody Thinks About Garbage Collection the Wrong Way, by Raymond Chen

You may know all about multi-phase, multi-generational garbage collectors– but chances are you haven’t thought about GC in quite this way. I’ve posted an article from this guy before, and if you read it you probably discovered you had an incorrect understanding of the stack and the heap, value types and reference types. Well this article will challenge your GC knowledge as well.

Why Mobile Web Apps Are Slow, by Drew Crawford

Yes, we all know JavaScript is slower than native, so why am I posting another article about it? For two reasons: firstly, this guy empirically proves that JS is too slow for real apps and will always be too slow. There’s really no hope here. JavaScript will not get faster, sorry friends. Secondly, much of the article is about the nature of compilers and technology, not specifically JavaScript or C++ or anything in between. It’s a long, long article, but it’s golden.

The Future of Programming, by Bret Victor

I’ve saved the best for last. Yes, my friends: pull up a chair, dim the lights, give thirty minutes to one of the best lectures I’ve ever seen. Bret will tear your world down and leave you with only a faint hope that it’s not quite too late to rethink everything you’ve ever known about programming. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.